Self-harm impacts Middle Georgia teens

MACON, Ga. -- Self harm affects up to 25 percent of America's teenagers.

Two Middle Georgia teens used to hurt themselves as a form of relief. They said it is like an addiction.

"So much self-hatred and it takes a lot of self-hatred to want to hurt yourself," said Kinsey Kobbe, a self-harm survivor. "People don't understand that."

Kobbe, 15, said she started cutting herself when she was 13. She said after watching her grandfather die she needed to find a release.

"That's how I coped with things," Kobbe said.

After doing it once she was hooked.

"I started with just one way of self-harm and then it escalated into multiple ways of self-harm," Kobbe said.

The cutting escalated to burning her house.

According to licensed psychologist Mary-Catherine Riner, this kind of behavior is common for people who suffer from the disorder.

"It kind of becomes a way to have control in a world that feels like chaos," Riner said.

Riner said that the act of hurting yourself can become an addiction and releases a euphoria like a runner's high. She said people who hurt themselves often suffer from anxiety and depression as well.

People can use scissors, nails and even a nail file to hurt themselves.

For 16-year-old Abby Presley, her harm started in fifth grade.

"There was a lot of bullying in school and I just couldn't really feel anything so I just had to have something to sort of feel something," Presley said.

It took a bad car accident and a near death experience to make her realize she couldn't keep cutting herself.

"After that I decided if I survived that there shouldn't be a reason why I should try to end my life," Presley said.

Both Kobbe and Presley are now in the recovery process. Kobbe said finding a treatment has been difficult due to a lack of services in Middle Georgia. In fact, she had to go to an impatient facility in North Carolina in order to get help.

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